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A skillful balance of application and theory, Budgeting: Politics and Power by Carol W. Lewis and W. Bartley Hildreth is a comprehensive yet highly accessible introduction to the politics of budgeting. Unlike other texts on the subject--which typically focus only on budgeting issues at the federal level--this book emphasizes budgeting at the state and local levels to translate budgetary politics in a way that will be more relevant to the vast majority of students. In order to help students dissect the material and integrate it in a meaningful way, Lewis and Hildreth organize each chapter around key questions about core issues in a democracy. Informed by the authors' own individual backgrounds and expertise, the text presents a thorough--and unbiased--account of the different arguments and political perspectives surrounding budgetary politics. FEATURES * Places a unique emphasis on the political aspects of budgeting * Provides students with the skills and tools they need to work through the political challenges and controversies of budgeting trade-offs * Offers strong pedagogy including web site resources, case studies, in-class exercises, discussion and review questions; many charts, tables, photos, and cartoons; a glossary of budgeting terms; and an appendix of key federal budgeting points * Draws on a wide range of academic disciplines including political science, public administration, public policy, economics, psychology, demography, and history * A Companion Web Site that provides links to videos, chronologies, web resources, additional technical and advanced materials, and primers on reading federal and state budgets
Carol W. Lewis is Professor of Political Science at the University of Connecticut. In addition to writing and editing several books, she has lectured all over the world and has published scholarly articles in Public Administration Review, Municipal Finance Journal, Publius, and other journals.
W. Bartley Hildreth is Dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He received the Aaron B. Wildavsky Award for lifetime scholarly achievement in Public Budgeting and Finance in 2008 from the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management.
Table of Contents
Each Chapter ends with a "Thumbnail" summary, Web Site Resources, and Review Questions.
PREFACE: A NOTE OF WELCOME AND APPRECIATION A Different Take on the Subject Organization and Learning Style About the Authors
INTRODUCTION. BUDGETING AND DEMOCRACY Democracy Politics Theoretically Speaking
CHAPTER 1. FOLLOW THE MONEY What Is the Public Sector? Why Do We Need to Make Political Choices? Not a Brawl Political Process Do the Choices Matter? Guarantee Limits to Budgeting How Does Democracy Affect Budgeting? Accountability Transparency Responsiveness Stewardship and Efficiency What Is a Good Budget? Case: A Lesson in Political Muscle
CHAPTER 2. WE THE PEOPLE: POWER AND PARTICIPATION Do We Vote Our Budget Choices? Voting Bundles, Not Budgets Voting Political Parties Voting Core Political Beliefs What Does Governing Mean? Can Citizens Speak to Political Leaders? Transparency and Meaningful Participation Voting Directly on Budget Choices Are Citizens Self-Interested Rational Actors? Emotional Language of Budgetary Politics How Political Ideology Affects Budgeting Is Lobbying Legitimate in Budgetary Politics? How and Why We Lobby Issue Networks Does Public Opinion Influence Budgetary Politics? Do Leaders Listen? Interpreting Public Opinion Case: Advocacy Strategy, Advocacy Ethics
CHAPTER 3. FAIRNESS AND TRUST IN BUDGETARY POLITICS What's Fair? Are Taxes Fair? The Public's Perspective Notions of Tax Fairness Tax Burden Taxes and Income Inequality Fiscal Federalism and Tax Fairness Is Spending Fair? The Politics of Redistribution Generational Politics Spending across the States Political and Budgetary IOUs Are Citizens Satisfied with Performance? Does Citizen Trust or Distrust Matter? Case: What Do You Think?
CHAPTER 4. PROCESS MATTERS How Is the Budget "Game" Played? How Did We Get Here? What Is Executive Budgeting? How Does Executive Budgeting Work? Executive Formulation and Submission Bouncing Off the Base Budget Requests - Legislative Call - Appeals and Issue Networks - Budget Strategies Significance of Stage One Legislative Review and Appropriation Review of the Executive Budget Request Limits on Legislative Powers Line-Item Appropriations and Veto Power Budget Blackout Implementation and Audit Allotments and Rescissions Supplemental Appropriations War and the Federal Budget Process After the Books Are Closed Summary of the Executive Process Why Take a Political Perspective? How Does the Federal Entitlement Process Work? The Art of the Budget Process Case: A Package Deal
CHAPTER 5. PUTTING THE PUZZLE TOGETHER What Rules Guide Putting the Budget Pieces Together? Fiscal Rules for the Federal Government Fiscal Rules for State and Local Governments Fiscal Rules Are Norms What Is a Balanced Budget? Revision of the Budget during the Year The "Is" of a Balanced Budget What Happens When There Is No Budget or the Budget Is Not in Balance? Financing the Deficit by Issuing Debt State and Local Government Debt Budget Cutbacks Is the Budget Sustainable Over Time? Rainy Day Budgeting Public Sector Employee Benefits Budget Sustainability Case: Insulating Politicians by Letting a Commission Do the Heavy Lifting on What to Cut
CHAPTER 6. SPENDING PUBLIC RESOURCES How Much Are We Spending? Measuring Spending Internal Dynamics: Percent Change and Growth Rate External Developments - Changing Prices - Economic Change - Social Change A Slice of the Pie Cost Structure Makes a Difference Workforce and Payroll Employee Benefits and Unpaid Bills Why Is Some Federal Spending Kept Secret? What Is the Cost of the "War on Terror"? What Does Counterterrorism Cost? What Are We Getting for the Money? Why Do Budgets Grow? Case: A Difficult Dilemma
CHAPTER 7. A TAXING SUBJECT: RAISING PUBLIC RESOURCES Why Do We Pay for Public Services? Willingness to Pay Revenue Systems Serve Different Functions Revenue and Civic Engagement Strategies for Public Support Who Makes Revenue Policy? Political Pressure on Technical Experts Revenue Power outside the Beltway Political Pressure on Decision Makers What Types of Revenue Does the Public Sector Use? The Property Tax The Income Tax The Sales and Use Tax Revenue Diversity How Do Taxes Work? The Sticky Problems of Tax Administration Rules that Limit Tax Uses and Tax Increases Nominal versus Effective Tax Rate What Are the Five Principles of Taxation and How Are They Applied? Applying Tax Principle #1: How Does Tax Policy Affect Economic Growth? Applying Tax Principle #2: What Is Efficient Taxation? Applying Tax Principle #3: How Can Tax Policy Be Economical? Forecasting Revenue Price of Government Tax Elasticity Revenue Yield Over Time Other Concerns Applying Tax Principle #4: How Does Transparency Make Taxation Responsive? Applying Tax Principle #5: What Is a Fair Tax? Benefits-Received Principle Ability-to-Pay Principle Tax Incidence Taxes in the Global Economy Can Governments Raise Revenue without Having Taxes? Case: Repeal the #@! Income Tax in Taxachusetts!
CHAPTER 8. POLITICS AND CAPITAL BUDGETING What Is Capital Budgeting and Why Is It Important? Infrastructure as Durable Goods and Capital Assets Doing Public Mega-Projects Should Governments Plan and If So, How? Identifying Capital Projects Capital Programs and Budgets Project Costs and Benefits If Not Pay Cash, Then Why and When Borrow Money? Debt Is Not Always Bad Bond Ratings and Credit Quality Debt Rules State and Local Governments' Securities Is There Such a Thing as Free Money? State and Local Officials Look to the Federal Government Local Officials Look to the States Case: Budget Busters!
CHAPTER 9. HOW TO READ A LOCAL BUDGET Budget Message Budget Summary Detailed Schedules Supporting Documentation Eight Focal Points Who/What? Fiscal Year? Operating or Capital Budget? Legal Status of the Document? Is the Budget Balanced? What Fund Applies? What Are the Budget Drivers? What Gets the Spotlight? Proceed with Caution! Go Beyond the Budget Applications Questions to Ask When Reading a Budget Would You Vote for This Budget?
CHAPTER 10. THE BOTTOM LINE Why Does Budgeting Change and Yet So Much Stays the Same? Sources of Change Putting on the Squeeze Budgetary and Political Time Bombs How Do Today's Budget Decisions Affect Tomorrow's Democracy? Arguments For Arguments Against How Are We Doing? Transparency and Complexity Financing Public Higher Education Following the Money through a Maze Accountability, Stewardship, and the Artful Dodge Budget Gimmicks Dodging Tough Choices Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Performance Responsiveness and the Role and Size of Government Where Are We Headed? Reforming the Appropriations Process Entitlement Reform Closure Commissions Reforming Earmarks Other Reforms What Can We Do about It? Trust and the Political Deficit Participation and a Challenge to Take Two Steps Case: The Gag Rule The Big Picture: Integrating Questions
APPENDIX A. THE FEDERAL BUDGET PROCESS APPENDIX B. GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN BUDGETARY POLITICS